Having a small business doesn’t always mean you have a huge budget to work with, particularly when it comes to marketing.
The sad thing is, a lot of small business owners are hesitant to invest in online marketing services because it’s hard for them to really grasp the ROI. Marketing is tough to measure and online marketing can be even tougher to measure whether or not it’s actually getting people in the door.
But let me just say that, yes, it is. Any investment in online marketing is helping to get people in the door, helping you get clients, etc.
Bottom line, your investment in reliable online marketing services is worth it, will help you grow your business, etc. That being said, here are five free online marketing tools you can use when you’re working with a small business budget that doesn’t have any room for online marketing services right now.
1. Sign up for online marketing blogs and newsletters.
This is a give me. Online marketing companies use content to attract their target buyer….you. This means they literally create content (not much unlike this article) to get you to their door. You have the power whether or not to elect them for their services, so you may as well take advantage of the hundreds of free articles that get pumped out every day. Sign up here for online marketing tips, tricks, inspiration, and positive affirmations. Other blogs I highly suggest signing up for would be Neil Patel’s blog, and HubSpot’s Marketing Blog.
If you don’t yet have a website, then you’re most likely just dipping your toes into the world of online marketing. Maybe you’ve always gotten business from referrals or word of mouth, but the good thing about the internet is that whatever is on it, is there forever. So long after the good word has gotten around about your business, or as towns become filled with new people, etc. your business can always be found online for people who are actually looking RIGHT NOW for your services or product. Start your online marketing adventure by getting a free website on WordPress. WordPress is an incredibly easy tool to use, is user-friendly, and is actually FUN to use to set up your website. I suggest spending the $18 or so dollars on actually buying your domain, which is free with higher plans if you’d like to take advantage of some of their more advanced website features. But either way, a free WordPress site will get you started.
3. Build a logo, ads, graphics, etc. easily and for FREE.
This tool, absolutely rocks. Snappa is a free online tool you can use to create simple graphic designs, Ads, logos, etc. It’s super easy to use, and there’s a whole world of background images, graphics, icons, fonts, colors, etc. at your disposal. You get 10 free creations a month, or, if you want unlimited creations, it’s only $10 a month. Totally worth it!
4. Keep an eye on your online marketing analytics.
SEMrush is a great free tool you can use to monitor your web traffic. They offer tips and suggestions on how you can improve your SEO, and how you can increase organic web traffic in general. Take advantage of their free tools to help you increase your web presence. You can also use Google Analytics. All you have to do is get your tracking code via the Google Analytics dashboard and paste it into the appropriate place in the WordPress dashboard. WordPress and Google make it super easy for you!
5. The obvious one: social media.
You probably know this one already, but social media, when utilized effectively, can provide you with immense online marketing leverage. But, when not used effectively, is just a burden. Chances are, you’re already on social media or have at least some idea that you need to create social media pages for your business. Here are a few tips to remember when leveraging this FREE online marketing tool:
- Don’t create profiles on platforms that you just don’t need.
- For example, if you have no intention of posting fresh content on Instagram because you’re a financial firm in Norfolk, Virginia, but you just feel like you should have a profile, then don’t make a profile. To be completely honest with you it’s a waste of time and the chances of converting social media users on a platform that really doesn’t suit your business aren’t worth it. If you have an e-commerce site, then it’s worth it. If you want to know which profiles are actually worth it for you to be on, click here for a free 15-minute online marketing consultation with me.
- Keep content on it constantly.
- Letting your social media activity go stagnant is a no-no, and can actually hurt your business. Social media users pick up on the dates of posts, it leaves a bad taste perception-wise if your last post was 3 months ago.
- Be active, or hire someone to be active.
- Being “active” means that you’re on social media like you would normally be, just as your business. Take the time to devote an hour or so each day to liking, commenting, posting on groups, etc. as your business, or as a representative for your business. The more active you are, the more you’ll get out of social media in interesting and unique ways. Trust me, it’s a ripple effect that will come back to you.
If you don’t have time to devote to social media, hire someone to do it for you. It’s typically not that expensive to outsource to a freelancer who does this for multiple businesses. If you’re lucky, you can find someone to not only create blog content for you but share it for you on social media.
I hope you take advantage of these free tools for online marketing for small business owners! Eventually, by utilizing all these tools, you will have started to get a grasp of the basic of online marketing. It’s a whole ecosystem of platforms, tools, tips, and tricks, and it can be overwhelming at times. Fortunately, we’re in the age of information and there’s a lot of help out there!